First World Problems in a Third World Context

I have posted a few tongue-in-cheek blogs about my / "our" respective "first world problems": those consumer culture driven annoyances that tend to stop us in our tracks and allow us to whine before we really think about it. For example, to quote my favorite new Facebook page discovery, : "Everyone is looking forward to … Continue reading First World Problems in a Third World Context

The Loneliest Generation?

This article poses an interesting paradox: how is it that the most socially networked generation in history is also potentially the loneliest? I suppose the idea here is that in the era of being able to carefully curate your public facing identity we are missing the ability to make more intimate human connections and thus limiting our self actualization ability.
I am not sure I buy it – honestly. I think the social network environment actually opens up more opportunity for human intimacy – introducing us to people with similar ideas and ideas that we may never have met otherwise – allowing us to have friends wherever we go and thus giving us more possibilities to connect with one another and further our pursuit of “who am I and what am I doing here”.
Interested in thoughts out there. Are Millennials really that lonely?

So-Called Millennial

Recently a clever video went viral called The Innovention of Loneliness which illustrates some of the modern problems that have been introduced because of the Internet and technology. If you’re a millennial, most of what the video talks about will feel familiar, like the ability to “self-edit” and constantly be plugged-in to our communication platforms. Mark-Anthony Smith of Entitled Millennial wrote about his personal experience of growing up with social media starting with AOL Instant Messenger all the way back in 1998! His experience should also be very familiar to the average millennial. It correlated with my experience as well, and acknowledges that the internet (for good or ill) is an integral part of how millennials grew up.

I thought I would follow up by talking about the video, and some of my thoughts on the impact the internet has had on our ability to relate with each other.

The…

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Breaking Down The Gen Y “Quarterlife Crisis”: A Generation’s Expectations in Context

This weekend I spent some time at happy hour listening to a Millennial friend of mine - who is 34 years old, talk about how she is unhappy in her current career path and experiencing a "mid-life" crisis.   After pardoning myself for the eye-rolling, we had a conversation around self-actualization, goal setting, etc. And I … Continue reading Breaking Down The Gen Y “Quarterlife Crisis”: A Generation’s Expectations in Context

The Lesbiman: A New Masculine Ideal?

In the last couple of years I have spent a good amount of time studying the context  of the American Male (often in comparison with other geographies / cultures).  The concept of masculinity as a part of how men make their consumer behavior choices is pretty interesting.  I have been affirmed in some areas and … Continue reading The Lesbiman: A New Masculine Ideal?

Culture, Pushing Boundaries and Change

Recently in my professional career I have been yet again posed the question of "why study cultural context" - not so much from a "prove your value" perspective but from a "help us sell this stuff" perspective. I got to thinking about the connection between "values" (broad term for not-so-easy-to-measure sociocultural "stuff") and value (the … Continue reading Culture, Pushing Boundaries and Change

Some Context for Restoring Faith In Humanity: A Little Bit of Kindness Can Make a Huge Impact

I thought this one was worth the share. It made me tear up, anyway. I think too often we look at people as "us" versus "them". It's basic Sociology: Conflict Theory. It states that in order for society to function in an orderly fashion, we need to have a common enemy. A bit misguided perhaps … Continue reading Some Context for Restoring Faith In Humanity: A Little Bit of Kindness Can Make a Huge Impact

Millennial medium chill: What the screwed generation can teach us about happiness

I always love a good perspective on the Millennial generation, especially when it’s written from a Millennial perspective. There are a number of studies, articles and other points of view from people like me who take an active interest in the culture and sociology of this generation that currently represents everyone from teenagers to those in their early thirties. This piece comments on a number of them. I’m particularly excited about the Millennial Geography project they mention and will likely use it as a data set in my ongoing research on Millennials from a consumer culture perspective.
I will say that this author is a big more contrary than most in that she presumes those of us who are actively seeking to understand this generation are misguided or still hanging on to stereotypes. . But on a positive note, it brings up a lot of points that at least affirm my perspective on cultural themes I have observed and used to educate my clients on how to engage and empower this generation poised to change the world! 🙂

Grist

About a year ago, during a cross-faded conversation that felt profound but probably sounded more like this, a friend told me about Strauss-Howe generational theory, a scholarly take on the somewhat narcissistic assumption that each generation has a signature personality that leaves a unique mark on world culture and history. Strauss and Howe identify four archetypes — prophets, nomads, heroes, or artists — that can define an entire generation based on the societal conditions they grew up in.

Humblebrag alert: Millennials comprise a Hero Generation. This means we were born “during a time of individual pragmatism, self-reliance, and laissez faire” (in other words, the Reagan/Bush Sr./Clinton years) and are coming of age “as team-oriented young optimists during a Crisis.” If that all sounds too conveniently perfect, remember that Strauss and Howe came up with this back in 1991, when Barack Obama was still fresh out of law school…

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Surviving and Thriving: and its Socital Differences.

A timely anthropological piece to ameliorate my mid life crisis of consumption-conscience. Now there’s a mouthful. And here’s a mouthful of social-science objectivity.

livinglifepassionately

The purpose of a human is to adapt and survive in their surroundings. I agree with Jared Diamond’s theory about social inequality in that the reason that some people thrive while others survive is because of the resources around them. In a place where there are a higher yield of resources, these people will thrive and grow exponentially while in other cultures with less raw materials to work with will spend all of their time trying to survive. This does not mean that one culture is better than another, just that they have adapted differently to their surroundings. Three main resources that allowed other cultures to adapt better than others are fertile lands, the domestication of plants, and the domestication of animals. Two cultures that are easily comparable in these regards are Ancient Egypt and the !Kung people of the Kalahari Desert.

Diamond states that the reason that some cultures…

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What Is A Hipster?

Keeping on the hipster theme, i thought this was an interesting example of cultural discourse. A pretty objective dialogue that really frames the public opinion about "counterculture" and the sociological concept of "us" versus "other". Whether you are a hipster lover, hater or are one yourself (whether you assume the label or not) it's an … Continue reading What Is A Hipster?